Local barbershop withstands recession

By Andrew Stettler
April 23, 2009

Tucked away at the intersection of Lancaster Ave. and N. Wayne Ave. in Wayne, Pa, stands Pat’s Barber Shop. A small two-room community keystone in the middle of a town economy built on restaurants and retail. While a few stores are beginning to close due to the economic downturn, owner of Pat’s, Pat Shannon, said his shop has barely been affected.

“It’s the service industry. I think the service industry is doing better than retail. By how much, I don’t know,” said Shannon, who has worked at his Wayne location for over 30 years.

Shannon said that over those 30 years he has seen many changes but overall Wayne still stays the same.

“It’s pretty tough for retail shops to hang around anymore. What with the box stores and shopping centers and all.” Right across the street from Pat sits a boarded up storefront with two large signs, which read, “retail space available.” Right next to that is an abandoned Cold Stone Creamery, which recently closed down during the winter season.

Shannon said that really the few stores that have hung around are either service stores or jewelry stores. A customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “I think the biggest turn over on this street here are restaurants.”

Restaurants like Christopher’s and the newly opened Boat House seem to be faring well on the streets of Wayne. At Christopher’s, customers fill the outside dining area each evening proving that in a time of economic downturn the only thing being affected in Wayne’s food industry is the cost of food itself and not the amount of customers.

“We had a little rough spot but we are picking back up,” said Jennifer Cesarine, a manager at Christopher’s. Cesarine believes that part of the reason why Christopher’s hasn’t been hurt too badly is because it is a family restaurant.

“People will cut out on date night, but you still need to feed your family on the way to soccer practice.”

Perhaps the link between Pat’s Barber Shop and Christopher’s is not just that they are neighbors but that they have become a part of the community. “I’ve been cutting hair for three generations,” Shannon said. While Christopher’s is titled in their tagline “a neighborhood place.”

Anthony Wayne Theatre, which has been owned by Clearview Cinemas since 1998, has become a part of the community by holding “First Friday” showings, a free movie on the first Friday of every month. The movie is usually something a high school or college crowd would enjoy.

Bravo’s Pizza is another restaurant that seems to be packed around dinnertime. It’s a family atmosphere restaurant with quality food and low prices. The connection is that all of these Wayne businesses are places families are drawn to visit on a regular basis.

For Shannon, who said he has nothing more to offer than any salon at the King of Prussia Mall.

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Andrew Stettler

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